1.11.2021

Christians Who Push In-Person Worship Do Not Value Human Life

COVID-19 church

You are "pro life," are you? Great! Can we assume this means you value human life and not merely the lives of potential children? Can we also assume this means you are taking the public health recommendations seriously and doing everything in your power to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus because you are appalled by how many people it has already killed? No? Then you no longer get to claim to be pro life and expect to be taken seriously. Instead of being taken seriously, your hypocrisy will be pointed out. Frankly, we've had about enough of it and can no longer ignore it now that it is endangering our lives.

Anyone willing to place their preferred superstition above human life is not pro life. In fact, I'm not sure that anyone willing to place their preferred superstition above human life shouldn't be considered morally deficient in some important ways. We need to be clear that this is exactly what is happening. Many Christians are continuing to gather together for in-person church services no matter what. This should make us angry because it is making a bad situation worse.

It would be one thing if the only thing these Christians were doing was endangering themselves. When it comes to a highly contagious virus, that is not the scenario we have. Instead, they are endangering their families, friends, co-workers, and everyone else they come in contact with. Their callous behavior, linked to the superstition they like to refer to as "faith," is risking the lives of everyone in their communities. This includes you and me. We are being placed at increased risk because selfishly superstitious people are contributing to COVID-19 spread in our communities.

You and I cannot shut down the churches. So what can we do? I will suggest that there are at least two things we can do to help this situation and similar situations we may encounter in the future (which I think is likely). First, we can lobby our elected officials and local, state, and federal levels to end health-related religious exemptions. I realize that the U.S. Supreme Court has made this more difficult, but that doesn't mean the fight is over. Unless someone can provide compelling evidence that worship services do not spread viruses in the same way any other large indoor gatherings do, they should not be treated differently just because superstition is involved. If large indoor gatherings are going to be restricted because everyone recognizes the danger they pose, the same must be true for churches.

The second thing we can do is to repeatedly point out the irreconcilable hypocrisy between those who claim to be "pro life" and/or morally superior to atheists and their defiance of public health recommendations put in place to protect human life. We need to shine a light on this behavior so that everyone begins to see it for what it is. Those pushing in-person worship in the midst of this pandemic must pay a price for doing so. That price is a loss of credibility, a loss of respect, and a fundamental change in the manner in which they are perceived. This needs to be one of those moments in history where we remember what many religious believers did and how their poor choices cost lives. They forfeit any claims of superior morality or how much they value human life.